Tomatoes with anchovies, tarragon, eggs & sourdough

This combination of ripe fresh tomatoes, sweet tarragon, good bread and my own red wine vinegar (I’ve been making for 10 years) is full of the warmth of summer. 


4 free range eggs
800g ripe tomatoes
Small loaf of sourdough or country bread, a few days old
12–14 anchovy fillets
Leaves from 1 small bunch tarragon, chopped
Leaves from 1 small bunch basil, chopped

For the dressing:
3 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 


Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add eggs and cook for 61/2 mins. Run eggs under cold water to stop them cooking – the yolks should have a softish centre.
Peel the eggs, halve them and set aside. 3 Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a large salad or mixing bowl. Take about 150g bread and tear it into chunky pieces and add to the tomatoes.
Add the anchovy fillets, soft-boiled eggs, herbs and half the dressing. Season well with salt and pepper then carefully, using clean hands, turn everything together. You don’t want to break the eggs up, so use a light touch.
Allow salad to stand for 10–15 mins before turning once more; it will taste all the better for it.
Divide the salad between four plates and drizzle with the remaining dressing.